Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
The Official Site of the Toronto Blue Jays

news

Blue Jays News

Pillar power: Walk-off HR completes sweep

MLB.com

TORONTO -- Kevin Pillar was the walk-off hero for the Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon at Rogers Centre, as his home run in the bottom of the ninth gave Toronto a 3-2 win for a four-game series sweep of Seattle and its fifth straight victory.

"I'm speechless," Pillar said after the game. "Obviously, Mother's Day makes it even more special because we all have moms in here that sacrificed a lot for us and have done a lot for us. It's just a great way to wrap up Mother's Day."

Full Game Coverage

TORONTO -- Kevin Pillar was the walk-off hero for the Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon at Rogers Centre, as his home run in the bottom of the ninth gave Toronto a 3-2 win for a four-game series sweep of Seattle and its fifth straight victory.

"I'm speechless," Pillar said after the game. "Obviously, Mother's Day makes it even more special because we all have moms in here that sacrificed a lot for us and have done a lot for us. It's just a great way to wrap up Mother's Day."

Full Game Coverage

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for Pillar and other #ASGWorthy players

Justin Smoak broke through for the Blue Jays in the bottom of the sixth with a two-run home run, his seventh of the season.

Video: SEA@TOR: Smoak's two-run shot puts Blue Jays ahead

Estrada catches mom's Mother's Day 1st pitch

Jarrod Dyson was the unlikely power threat for Seattle, tying the game up at two with a solo home run shortly after Smoak put Toronto ahead. The home run was Dyson's first of the season, and his eighth in 586 career games played.

After climbing back to .500 by winning six of their previous seven, the Mariners were outscored, 21-6, in the four straight losses as their record fell to 17-21.

"Toronto was not kind to us," Seattle manager Scott Servais said. "As hot as we came in here, we leave just as cold. We competed well today, but their guy had good stuff. We knew that. He has a good arm and competes well. The home runs got us today."

Blue Jays right-hander Aaron Sanchez, who has been dealing with fingernail and blister issues much of the season, threw five innings on 78 pitches with just an unearned run after being activated off the disabled list for his fourth start.

Video: SEA@TOR: Sanchez allows one unearned run over five

Ryan Tepera followed Dominic Leone out of the bullpen to handle the back end of the game for the Blue Jays, throwing 2 1/3 innings of clean relief and striking out two to earn his third win of the season.

"He's on some kind of roll, too," Toronto manager John Gibbons said of Tepera. "I think he's just really come into his own. His confidence is sky high. With the kind of arm he has, he's really doing what he should do."

Seattle starter Ariel Miranda turned in a strong outing of his own, striking out eight Blue Jays over five-plus innings while allowing just a single run. The eight strikeouts tied Miranda's career high set on Sept. 18 of last season against the Astros.

Video: SEA@TOR: Miranda fans eight over five innings

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Segura kicks it in: Mariners leadoff hitter Jean Segura leads the American League with his .371 batting average, and he extended his hitting streak to a career-best 13 games with a 2-for-4 game. His fifth-inning double led to the lone run off Sanchez, thanks to right fielder Jose Bautista's throw in kicking off Segura's foot as he dove head first into second. The ball rolled into shallow left-center field as Carlos Ruiz raced home for the first run of the game. Bautista was given an error on the throw, so the run was unearned and Segura didn't get credit for an RBI.

Video: SEA@TOR: Segura doubles, Ruiz comes home on error

Pillar races back, reaches high: Pillar tracked down what would have been a run-scoring double in the top of the fourth off the bat of Danny Valencia to keep the game scoreless. The Mariners were threatening with runners on first and second with nobody out, but after initially taking one step in toward home after contact, Pillar sprinted straight back toward the wall and made the grab, reaching high above his head. According to Statcast™, the ball left Valencia's bat at 102.6 mph, and Pillar covered 38 feet in 4.2 seconds to haul it in.

Video: SEA@TOR: Pillar leaps for an amazing catch

QUOTABLE
"I was feeling great. I just missed with that pitch. I was trying to go down and away, but I left that slider in the middle. He was ready and hit it pretty good." -- Mariners closer Edwin Diaz, on the walk-off shot by Pillar

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Smoak's shot to left field left the bat at 109.2 mph with a launch angle of just 15 degrees, the lowest angle on any home run in Major League Baseball this season, according to Statcast™. The previous low belonged to Aledmys Diaz, who hit a 16-degree home run on May 1.

INJURY UPDATE
Toronto left fielder Steve Pearce left the game with right calf tightness in the bottom of the second inning after sliding into second base, and he was replaced by Ezequiel Carrera. More >

Video: SEA@TOR: Pearce exits after double with an injury

UNDER REVIEW
Segura opened the game with an infield single, and he was initially called safe on his attempted steal of second base. A Blue Jays challenge showed that the tag from Ryan Goins got down just in time, however, giving catcher Luke Maile his third runner thrown out in seven attempts against him.

Video: SEA@TOR: Maile nabs Segura on an overturned call

The Mariners won a challenge in the fifth, when Ruiz was initially ruled out at first on a ground ball to Toronto third baseman Darwin Barney. Replay showed Ruiz touching the bag just before the ball reached the glove of first baseman Smoak. Ruiz wound up scoring the game's first run on Segura's double off Sanchez.

Video: SEA@TOR: Ruiz credited with single on overturned call

 WHAT'S NEXT
Mariners: Yovani Gallardo (1-3, 4.58 ERA) gets the start in Monday's 7:10 p.m. PT series opener against the A's as Seattle opens a seven-game homestand at Safeco Field. Gallardo is 1-5 with a 4.69 ERA in seven prior starts against Oakland, but the one win came earlier this season.

Blue Jays: Mike Bolsinger (0-1, 3.16 ERA) will make his second start for Blue Jays in Monday's 7:07 p.m. ET opener against the Braves at home. The right-hander continues to occupy the injured J.A. Happ's spot in the rotation. He made a strong first impression his first time out, allowing two earned runs in 5 2/3 innings.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Keegan Matheson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.